Tag Archives: crust

Gluten Free Chicken Pot Pie Class at PTC March 22

14 Feb
gluten free chicken pot pie

Amazeballs gluten free chicken pot pie, if I do say so myself. Learn to make your own at my class!

I had a lot to do last night.

Pinterest-y Valentines for the Kindergartener’s friends. A not-so-Pinterest-y Beyblade Valentine mailbox for same Kindergartener. Spray-painting elements for said box outside. Realizing that wasn’t going to work and going out for red plastic plates. Baths. Homework. All that momma stuff.

For some unknown reason, I decided it would be a dandy night to make chicken pot pie from scratch. Well, sorta from scratch; my mom brought a rotisserie chicken over at lunch, and the leftovers pretty much demanded to be pot pie. They told me so.

It’s just as well, since I’m teaching a class next month at Pulaski Technical College’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute on this very dish. Why not practice a few times? Yum.

The whole pot pie. In class, we'll probably make individual-sized ones. Equally delicious.

The whole pot pie. In class, we’ll probably make individual-sized ones. Equally delicious.

Last night’s version used (gasp) frozen veggies, just because it’s what I had and I forgot to go to Kroger. Sue me. (In class, we’ll bust out our real knife skills on real-life veggies. Because you need the practice.) Well, I did dice a real onion and some garlic, so there’s that.

Want to make your own? Of course you do. This dish was amazing, even with cheater ingredients. We’ll go over how to mix your own gluten-free all-purpose flour (and save a ton of cash) in our class. I’ll teach you how to make flaky pie crust that nobody will know is gluten-free, even your picky gluten-eating family. And we’ll package them up to freeze and bake whenever the pot pie siren calls. (Or, you can bring it home for dinner that night.)

The class is $75 for four hours of instruction and lots of tomfoolery. But productive tomfoolery. Let’s just say we’ll have fun.

Sign up for this class by calling (501) 907-6670, ext. 3407 or emailing Emily Story, Director of Community Education at PTC. See you there!

Gluten Free Pot Pie Class
Pulaski Technical College Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute
Community Kitchen
Saturday, March 22, 2014
12:30 – 4:30 p.m.
$75 per person


Gluten-Free Pie Crust (and Graham Crackers to Boot)

27 Nov
Gluten free, xantham gum free graham crackers.

Gluten free, xantham gum free graham crackers.

Greetings from our cozy cabin at Big Cedar Lodge near Branson, MO!

We’re spending the week here for Thanksgiving. We got here at 5 p.m. Tuesday and I’ve already been cooking like they don’t sell food around here. But, I actually enjoy that, so taking the larger vehicle so we could sherpa a week’s worth of groceries was totally worth it.

Tomorrow, I’ll get started on all the traditional Thanksgiving fare, but first, I thought I’d share one thing I’ve already made here at the cabin: some gluten-free, xanthan gum-free graham crackers.

S'mores made from my very own GF graham crackers!

S’mores made from my very own GF graham crackers!

See? Yeah. I’m pretty proud of these, actually. The family got right to work after dinner on s’mores, and I had planned ahead just enough to bring stuff to make my own crackers. If I had planned even more, I would have made them at home and brought them…but no matter.

The family making s'mores by the fire. How could I not participate?

The family making s’mores by the fire. How could I not participate?

I used this recipe from Living Low Carb One Day at a Time, although I used real brown sugar rather than her healthier alternatives. (Hey, one step at a time, right?) Kudos to Karen over there for the great recipe.

I worried about the batter being really wet, but it worked out just fine. Just trust her when she says to roll it out between sheets of parchment. Silpats would probably be even better. But, I’m at a cabin, so we use what we brought, which remarkably included parchment.

Tomorrow I’ll be on full Thanksgiving alert, working on the turkey, dressing, pies and such. Oh, yeah, and the hubs wants to take the kids to see Santa at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield. I’ll see if we can work that in.

Speaking of pies, didn’t I promise pie crust in the title of this post? Ah, yes, I did. If you like a graham cracker crust, just use the above cracker recipe and crumble them up using your favorite crust recipe. Here are one or two crust recipes for you.

If you like a more traditional pastry-style crust, here’s the recipe I made ahead and froze into disks for the trip.

Gluten-Free Pie Crust (Traditional pastry style)

The dough actually behaves better after being frozen, or at least parking in the fridge for a few hours. If freezing, take it out of the freezer about 30 minutes before using.

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cubed small and frozen
  • 1/2 cup lard or margarine, cut into small pieces and frozen
  • 1/4 cup ice cold water

Place the flour blend, salt, butter and lard or margarine into a food processor and pulse (er, I had to run mine a while) until it’s a crumbly meal. If you don’t have a food processor, you can do this with a pastry cutter. Just cut the butter and flour together. 

Drizzle in the cold water a bit at a time, pulsing the processor (or your fingers, as the case may be) until the dough comes together. You don’t have to use all the water, just enough to bring it together. When it just comes together when you press it, it’s done.

Turn the dough out onto a clean surface. It will still be a bit crumbly, and that’s okay. Divide the dough in two and form each portion into a disk, pressing slightly to help it come together. Place each disk into a freezer bag and place in the freezer until about an hour before you need it.

Thaw and roll out on a GF-floured surface. If it comes apart, don’t freak — just use a spatula to pick up pieces as flatly as possible and press them together in your pie pan. Comes out exactly like the traditional pie crust you always knew.

Scary Recipe: Savory Apple Pie with Pork, Gluten-Free Cheddar Crust

25 Oct

This goes down as one of the weirdest things I’ve ever made.

So, appropriate for Halloween? Maybe?

It started as my annual “this is what I’m gonna make for the Wildwood Park Harvest Fest culinary competition,” which also becomes the annual “I’m too exhausted to enter the event, so I’ll just make the dish I had planned at home, a week or two later.” This year’s Harvest Fest ingredient was apples, and by golly, I wasn’t going to make just any old sweet dessert-type-thing.

After a few ideas of my own followed up with a bit of research, here’s what I ended up with. The hubs and big kid dug in, but neither were enthusiastic about finishing. It was a little too weird: Not sweet enough, not savory enough… something.

But when said pie sat in the fridge overnight, something magical happened. The flavors melded. The texture improved. While I’ll still tweak a few things next time, this is now a pie worth eating. I think.

The recipe below includes a few of those added tweaks, such as a glaze and a little more seasoning.

I’m still not sure if it’s a winner, but it’s definitely worth a shot, if you’re brave. I actually like it.

Just keep it in the fridge overnight, will ya?


Savory Apple Pie with Pork and Gluten-Free Cheddar Crust
Serves 6-8


  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 c. cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 2-3 T. cold water
  • Extra GF flour for dusting your work surface


  • 1 lb. pork loin (I used breakfast chops that were on sale), small dice
  • 1 tsp. veg. oil
  • 1/2 c. yellow onion, small dice
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. apple cider
  • 1 tsp. dried sage (1 1/2 tsp. if using fresh)
  • 4 whole allspice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 T. gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. milk
  • 3 medium Granny Smith apples
  • 3 medium Gala apples
  • 2 T. sugar (plain, but Turbinado [raw sugar] would be nice)


  • 1/2 c. apple cider

The crust can be made with regular, all-purpose flour if nobody in your family requires gluten-free. I tried a new GF blend, Gluten Free Pantry, with good results.

Mix the flour and salt in a medium bowl, then stir in the cheese until thoroughly combined. Cut the butter into the mixture with a pastry cutter until you get a sandy-looking mixture. Sprinkle in the water, one tablespoon at a time, mixing with your hand until the dough just holds together. You may not need all the water.

Press half the mixture into a 9-inch pie plate, working up the sides. (If you absolutely must roll it out old-school, be my guest, but this recipe works fine pressed in.) On a floured surface, roll the remainder into a disc to cover the entire top, or a flat piece for cutting out shapes. (I did this on a small flexible cutting mat that could be easily moved to the fridge.) Place both the pie plate and top into the fridge for now.

Place your diced pork loin and oil into a hot pot (I used my Dutch oven, but anything largish will work) and stir a couple minutes to sear. Turn down the heat to medium and add the yellow onion and salt. Cook another couple minutes to soften the onions, stirring occasionally.

Add the cup of apple cider, sage, whole allspice and bay leaf, bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and cover. Cook this over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the pork is tender. Remove the allspice and the bay leaf.

In a small bowl, mix the 3 T. flour and milk until well combined. Watch for lumps! (The pie pictured used a 1/4 c. flour and less milk and was way too thick.) Stir this slurry slowly (say that five times fast) into the pork mixture and simmer, stirring, until it’s just thickened up.

Peel and slice the apples very thinly. I used a Pampered Chef apple corer/slicer/peeler (I know, chefs, don’t judge me!) with good results. If you go this route, cut your resulting spirals at least in half, maybe quarters so they’ll come apart. Sprinkle with lemon juice or Fruit Fresh if you do this a bit ahead. I did this while the pork was simmering in the cider.

Remove the pie plate with bottom crust from the fridge. Place half the pork mixture in the crust. On top of that, place all the apples, sprinkling with sugar as you go to evenly distribute it. And over the apples, place the last of the pork mixture, spreading it evenly across the top.

Place the remaining crust over the top and shape as desired, with vents or designs, or cut several shapes to place over the top.

While the pie is in the oven, reduce the 1/2 c. apple cider in a small saucepan until just thickened, and cool slightly.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 and bake for another 30 minutes. When there are 10 minutes left, remove the pie from the oven, brush on the cider glaze using a pastry brush, and return to the oven for the final 10 minutes or until the crust is finished and browned.

Chills and reheats well.

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Wide-Eyed Pork Tenderloin w/Maple Red Eye Gravy and Matcha Salted Egg

31 Mar

My apologies for the terrible photography. Someday, a Nikon D80. For now, iPhone.

Just the title is a tasty mouthful, no?

Since starting culinary school, I’ve actually cooked (I mean, really cooked) at home less than ever. You may have noticed, since I’ve had fewer posts about elaborate, fancy or otherwise unusual meals I’ve concocted. I’m just too exhausted!

At the tail end of a restful Spring Break, I got the vibe again last week. Here’s what I came up with on a total whim, after grinding some coffee late Saturday night for the next morning’s cuppa before church.

Wide-Eyed Pork Tenderloin w/Maple Red Eye Gravy and Matcha Salted Egg

  • 2 Pork tenderloins
  • 4 fresh, large eggs (preferably free range), or 1 for each diner
  • 1/4 c. whole coffee beans, any unflavored variety (I used Kona Cloud Coffee, medium roast)
  • 1 T. whole peppercorns (black, red, or a variety)
  • 2 T. dried onion flakes
  • 1 T. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. Ferneau Seasonings (or Old Bay, or a few dashes of paprika, fennel seed and garlic powder)
  • 1/2 cup apple juice or water
  • 2 T. orange juice concentrate
  • 1 T. pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 c. half and half
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • Matcha salt for sprinkling (available at Park Hill Pantry)

Trim silverskin and large pieces of fat from the tenderloins. Rinse and pat very dry with paper towels. Place in a dry baking dish.

Place coffee beans, peppercorns and dried onion in a coffee grinder or (preferably) a spice grinder.

The rub applied to one of the tenderloins.

(I used my coffee grinder but promptly washed it, so my coffee wouldn’t be oniony!) Grind the mixture until fine. Place in a small bowl and mix in the kosher salt and Ferneau (or other) seasoning. Using your hands, press the mixture over all surfaces of the tenderloins.

Heat a large nonstick skillet with about one tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, sear the tenderloins, one at a time, turning after about one minute on each side. Look for a crisp, dark sear without being burnt. (Even a little burnt will be OK.)

At this point, you can store the tenderloin overnight or up to 24 hours in the fridge. This allows the flavors to infuse into the meat, and also allows for my favorite Sunday morning food trick — the slow cooker.

Putting the sear on the crusted tenderloin.

Place the loins into an 8 qt. slow cooker. Whisk the orange concentrate into the apple juice or water and pour it in. Cover and set to high for 4 hours or low for 8. I did mine on high, and when we got home from church, the loins were beautifully moist and tender, even at the higher temperature.

When they’re done, remove the tenderloins to a platter and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes. This makes them easier to slice without shredding that beautiful, dark crust. Meanwhile, dump the juice left in the slow cooker into a small saucepan. (If you trimmed the loins well, don’t worry about skimming fat, but you can if you want.) Heat the juices to a simmer. Whisk the cornstarch into the half and half, then stir into the juices. It will thicken quickly, so whisk constantly until smooth and the consistency you want. It should be plenty seasoned from the crust, but taste it at the end and see if it needs any salt or pepper. At the very end, add the maple syrup and whisk smooth. (If you don’t have the real stuff, I’d rather you just left it out.)

While your gravy is heating (or holding), cook one or two eggs over easy or medium in another nonstick skillet, or poach ’em if you know how. After the flip (or extraction from poaching water), sprinkle with matcha salt and freshly ground pepper. Repeat until you have one egg for each diner. Then go apply for a job as a short order cook.

Slice the loin, top with gravy, and serve with the egg and a nice salad. Yummers.

Another sorry excuse for a photo. Attempt at close up.

As usual, let me know if you try this, and send me photos!
Coffee on FoodistaCoffee
Pork Tenderloin on FoodistaPork Tenderloin
Matcha on FoodistaMatcha